DVD Review: “Way Of The Wicked” Is Totally Unoriginal


Review by James McDonald

After a series of inexplicable murders sweeps a small, isolated community, Father Henry goes to a local police detective with a theory on why the murders are occurring.

I loved the 1976 version of “The Omen”. Director Richard Donner created a genuinely creepy and effective supernatural thriller that has not been matched since. Where “The Exorcist” scared audiences because of what they saw, “The Omen” scared them for what they didn’t and couldn’t see. Over the years, there have numerous ripoffs, like the inferior sequels and the 2006 remake that I won’t even talk about. With “Way of the Wicked”, you can add yet another one to the list. It not only exploits the general idea and mythology which surrounds the events and characters of “The Omen” but it also interconnects elements of “Carrie” and “The Fury”, films about humans with the power of telekinesis.

John Elliott (Vinnie Jones) is a detective who lives with his teenage daughter Heather (Emily Tennant). A year prior, his wife died in a car crash and they are both trying to cope. In school one day, Heather sees Robbie (Jake Croker), a young man that she used to be friends with when they were kids. Come to find out that two boys mysteriously died one afternoon when they were younger after bullying him and beating him up. Now that he’s back at school, he and Heather begin to hang out, much to the resentment of Greg (Aren Buchholz), Heather’s current boyfriend.

All the while, Father Henry (Christian Slater) is following Robbie everywhere he goes. He is the priest who interviewed him when he was a young boy in regards to the two puzzling deaths of the boys who beat him up and he is convinced that he is the anti-christ. Naturally, people start dying in mysterious and bloody fashion and he even convinces John to consider his rationale. It seems anybody who looks at Robbie sideways, ends up in a meat grinder or dies in some sort of horrible accident and it’s up to Henry and John to stop the killings and if Henry’s predictions are correct, the end of the world. I like Vinnie Jones and Christian Slater, they’re two actors I feel are very underrated.

Here, Mr. Jones plays against type, he actually plays a good guy and Mr. Slater is very reminiscent of the Father Brennan character in “The Omen”, the priest who was defrocked by the church but still believes in stopping the one who he considers to be the son of the Devil. The problem with the film is, it doesn’t strive for any single essence of originality. It’s either a nod to “The Omen” or to “Carrie” and even the “Final Destination” movies, themselves a homage to “The Omen”. There is no legitimate scare factor and absolutely no suspense whatsoever.

After spending the entire movie ranting and raving about Robbie being the anti-christ, the filmmakers throw in one final twist so far-fetched and absurd, that it completely contradicts everything the whole film just established. The film never rises above conventional mediocrity and that’s a real shame. With a competent cast in place and an obvious decent budget on display, it all gets wasted on a hackneyed story that should have been completely rewritten or never made at all.

In stores May 20th

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James McDonald
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